LAS CRUCES – Centennial High standout volleyball player Bella Castro has verbally committed to New Mexico State.
Castro, an incoming senior at Centennial, announced her commitment on Instagram Tuesday, choosing the Aggies over Utah State, UTEP and New Mexico. The three-year starter has earned All-State honors all three years of high school and finished last season with 282 digs and 38 service aces as Centennial’s libero.
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“The program itself is really awesome,” Castro said. “I love the coaches. The players were awesome, and what they stand for really stood out to me.”
Castro said playing college volleyball has been a dream of hers since she was 7-years-old, and her family regularly attended NMSU volleyball games as she grew up. She attended NMSU volleyball coach Mike Jordan’s volleyball camps as a child and was coached as the club level by one of his assistant coaches, but she said Jordan began recruiting her more intensely about a year ago.
She said Jordan watched her mature as a player before she was eventually offered by the Aggies. She said she couldn’t be more excited to join the program.
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“The team culture really (stood out),” Castro said. “Team culture is very important. Just the program really stood out to me from other schools.”
The Aggies have had one season with at least 10 losses since 2015 and have won three consecutive Western Athletic Conference regular-season titles. Centennial head coach Al Rosen said he believes Castro will find success at the next level after watching her develop as a player and that she will embrace the challenge at the next level.
“I’ve known coach Jordan for a long time and I know he’s looking forward to having her come play there. And like any player that’s going to that level, they have to realize they have to put in the work.” Rosen said. “It’s another level. A higher level. A lot of these kids do well at the high school level and don’t succeed at the next level. It’s just another challenge, but I feel confident she can do that.”